Emory Report
November 16, 2009
Volume 62, Number 11


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November 16, 2009

Defining counterterrorism
“The fundamental premise of operational counterterrorism is that you cannot guess,” said Amos Guiora, University of Utah professor of law, in an Oct. 27 lecture at Emory Law.

A retired lieutenant colonel, Guiora spoke on counterterrorism in Afghanistan and Israel. He stressed the importance of articulating the mission and understanding the limits of power.

“If we don’t define what is terrorism, we obviously can’t define what is counterterrorism. And if we can’t define what is counterterrorism, then the soldier doesn’t know what is expected of him,” he said. “I’m not sure that the decision- makers are articulating to the commander what the goal in Afghanistan is.” —Liz Chilla

An evening with Orpheus
The Roman poet Virgil’s version of the classic story of Orpheus and Euridice, in which Orpheus travels to the Underworld to retrieve his wife Euridice after death, is “the one everyone knows, that this enduring love that persists even beyond death,” said classics professor Peter Bing at the Carlos Museum. “When I mentioned to my 95-year-old mother that I would be part of an evening on Orpheus, she almost reflexively completed the sentence and said ‘and [Euridice’.”]

“Yet until Virgil, there were other aspects of the Orpheus legend that were more prominent,” Bing noted, who, with professors Garth Tissol and Ronald Schuchard and curator Jasper Gaunt, explored the iterations of the Orpheus legend in history, art and satire.

The Nov. 4 collaboration between the Carlos and the Atlanta Opera included a performance by opera musicians. —Leslie King

Flourishing in the face of adversity
Forget the smiley face icon and the Bobby McFerrin version of happiness. “I want you to change your view of what happiness really is,” said Corey Keyes, Emory sociologist and a pioneer of positive psychology.

Speaking on “Flourishing in the Face of Adversity” for the Emory College Wellness Committee Nov. 2, Keyes argued that “tough times do not preclude the ability to find purpose and happiness — sometimes it’s the best time, when we rally together.”

In fact, belonging to a community is among the best predictors of longevity, mental and physical health, said Keyes.

Keyes spoke of shifting the emphasis of psychology. Priority should be on prevention, promotion and protection of health, he said.

“And it starts here with us, at places like Emory.” —Kim Urquhart